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    Contributing Member smle addict's Avatar
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    Range day with a "boat anchor"

    I have a friend who is pretty heavily tied in to militaria estate sales here in California. He called me one day this past April and asked if I wanted a Savage No 4, less telescope barreled action. I told him I was mildly interested and asked for him to bring it with him next time he is in my neighborhood. When we eventually met, he produces one of the worst actions I have ever seen. It was a 1941 Savage No4 fitted with 'scope pads. It looked as if it was used as a salt water boat anchor.


    He was at an estate sale, and one of the lots was a big plastic tub with this barreled action and several german k98 bayonets sitting inside. Water had leaked in from somewhere, partially submerged the rear of the action, and completely soaked the bayonets. Luckily, the bayonets were packed in grease, so only the scabbards were ruined. Unfortunately the barreled action was not so lucky. It was completely caked in rust and the bolt was frozen in the bolt-way. I figured I might be able to scrounge the barrel from it, as it had not been submerged. From what I could see down the bore, it looked mirror clean.

    I gave him $200 for it, and took it home.

    Once at home, I began to work the bolt free with WD-40 and a little heat. Once free, I wire wheeled the rust and found a surprisingly good looking rifle. Bubba had a go at the front pad, ruining two of the three screws. I bought some repros, removed, cleaned and re-soldered the front pad back on. I scrounged up the worst of my No 4 parts and stock and threw it all back together. The forend was one I sourced from a hoarder friend who cleaned out all the parts from Federal Ordnance when they closed down 20+ years ago. This one almost fit so I knew the draws were good. I shaved a few thousandths off the draws with a wood file, and got it sitting tight and centered.


    I have a spare No 32 Mk 3 scope and mount, and took it to the range today. I shot some 1969 dated HXP, and two handloads. This thing can shoot! First group at 100 yds with HXP shot high and center. Next five rounds of handloads clustered below the center ring.


    Second group of handloads at 100 yrds:


    Ran it out to 200 yards . Got warmer, with a right to left wind and mirage. Shot the following group at about the 7 to 8 o'clock position (Pay no attention to the five smaller holes in the center; that was from a 223 bolt gun):


    All in all, a pretty enjoyable day. Not including the No32 scope, I have a total of $375 into this rifle, including the original purchase price. Whoever thought a boat anchor could shoot so well.

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    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

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    Well saved; the woodwork is perfect for the job.

    Just imagine, it could have ended up on auction as found in the attic of a house overlooking Arnhem Bridge.
    “There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

    Edward Bernays, 1928

    Much changes, much remains the same.

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    Contributing Member smle addict's Avatar
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    Thankfully, I failed "creative writing" in school!

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